Surat is a city in the west Indian state of Gujarat; located beside the Tapi River, it is one of Gujarat’s most-populated cities.
It has been known for silk weaving for many years, is to this date a commercial centre for Indian garments.
Surat has many interesting places to see and spend time at, including many beaches, temples, gardens, parks and sanctuaries and forts and castles. Some of the best places to visit here are:
- Dutch Garden
- Dumas Beach
- Jagdishchandrabose Aquarium
- Hajira Village
- Dandi Beach (famous for being the place where Mahatma Gandhi marched to, to make salt during the independence struggle in India against the British)
- Sarthana Nature Park
- Vansada National Park
- Tithal beach
- Suvali beach
If you are planning a trip to Surat, do not forget to pay a visit to these below listed places :
- Swaminarayan Temple
- Ambaji Temple
- Surat Castle
- ISKCON Temple Surat
- Tapi Riverfront
- Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Surat
- Chintamani Jain Temple
- Rang Upvan (an ancient and popular auditorium in the city)
Some of the best museums to visit in the city are:
- Sardar Patel Museum – the most popular museum in Surat, established in 1890; It has an impressive collection of ancient relics and paintings, an amphitheater, art gallery, auditorium and a restaurant too.
- Science Centre Surat – A science museum.
- JJ Art Gallery – Paintings & Sculptures.
Some of the major festivals celebrated in Surat are:
- The Festival of Uttarayan – This is a Kite festival, celebrated during mid – January during the occasion of Makar Sankranti which is celebrated distinctly in different parts of India. The entire sky gets covered in traditionally crafted kites and kite-flying competitions are also organized.
- Holi – The festival of colors (people throw colorful powders on each other).
- Navaratri – A 9-day festival where people worship goddess Durga in different ways, and perform various rituals, plays and dances. One of Gujarat’s most popular festivals – especially for its dances during this time.
- Dussehra – the 10th day after Navaratri, on which effigies of the ten-headed demon Raavana are burnt, to symbolize the destruction of evil.
- Krishna Janmashtami – The birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.
- Diwali – Festival of lights, celebrated in October-November.
Surat is known for its textile industry and is a commercial business centre for sarees, salwar, kurtas and cloth materials. The city is filled with cloth and fabric shops, along with many more shops and malls where people can buy anything from clothes, fancy jewellery and accessories to wood and ivory artefacts, and handicrafts. Some of the best shopping spots in Surat are as listed:
- Sahara Darwaja
- Universal Textile Market
- Shanivari market (Saturday Market)
- Chauta Bazaar
- Old Bombay Market
- Ghod Dod Road
- Dumas Road
- Rander Road
- VR Mall
- Iscon Mall
- Rahul Raj Mall
- Inperial Square Mall
- Marvella Mall
- Regent Arcade High Street Mall
- Central Mall
- Heera Panna Mall
Surat doesn’t have an operational metro rail system currently, but a rapid transit rail system for the city, called The Surat Metro is under construction since 18 January 2021, which is when he foundation of the project was laid, by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The construction of this mass public transport system is expected to complete by early 2024.
Surat’s food mostly has dishes from Gujarat cuisine which is predominant here. This consists of vegetarian dishes that are spicy with a hint of sweetness. The city also has many delectable street delicacies. Some popular foods to try in Surat are:
- Undhiyu – A spicy traditional mixed vegetable curry (consisting mainly of brinjal/eggplant, potatoes) and slow cooked.
- Locho – A street food, served with a tangy green chutney (of mint, coriander and green chillies) and crispy “Sev” (deep-fried thin Bengal gram batter snack).
- Dhokla – A steamed cake make of chickpea flour batter, which is moistened with sugar water and tempered with spices and mustard.
- Shrikand – A sweet and sour creamy dessert made with thick curd and cream.
- Gujarati Kadhi – A soupy dish made of beaten yogurt, chickpea flour (Besan) and spices.
- Thepla – A spiced flatbread made of unleavened wheat flour dough.
Some of the best restaurants in Surat to try the local delicacies and a lot more are:
- Blue Coriander
- Sasumaa Gujarati Thali
- The Lime Tree
- Jalaram Khichadi
- Mr & Mrs. Somani
- Kansar Gujrati Thali
- Bhai Bhai Omlette Centre
- Black Pepper
- Mysore Cafe
- Wok on Fire
Surat has many good hotels for a comfortable stay. Here are some of the best places to stay at in Surat:
- Surat Marriott Hotel
- Lord’s Plaza Surat
- Ginger Surat City Center
- Hotel Sifat International
- Best Western Yuvraj
- Hotel Orange International
- Tex Palazzo Hotel
Surat also has some good pubs and bars with trippy ambience, where people can hangout during the late hours and get good food and drinks. Here are some good spots to check out for the nightlife scene of Surat:
- Neon the Disc
- Dhua’s Hookah Lounge
- Club Infinity
- Pipes And Hypes
- Hard Rock the Disc
Surat STD Code – 0261 (to be used before dialling numbers from a device that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Fire & Rescue: 101
- Police: 100
- Ambulance: 102
- Women Helpline: 1091
- Child Helpline: 1098
Gujarati is the official language in Surat .
- Welcome - Padhaaro
- How are you? - Tame kem chho
- What's your name? - Taru naam su chhe
- Where are you from? - Tame kyaan na chho
- Goodbye - Avjo
- Good night - Shubh ratri